Friday, July 29, 2011

Something's Missing Here...

Ellie's bottom two front teeth have been loose for about a week. Well, this early afternoon she finally lost her first one. She is sooooo excited for the Tooth Fairy to come visit her tonight...she immediately put the tooth in her cute little Tooth Fairy "Owl". 

Here's her NEW smile...
We're quite sure the second lost tooth won't be far behind!

Soup in Summer?

Yesterday I needed to make a main dish for our (church) small group and I decided that I really didn't want to turn on the oven & I had hamburger to use up, so I figured I'd turn to an old stand-by...Taco Soup in a crockpot. I make this all the time in the winter, but don't really think about making it in the summer because soup isn't thought to be a "summer thing" (well, why not? other main dishes are hot too, so why not have soup?). Well, it was a HUGE hit (and no one complained about having soup in the summer either;o)). 

I was also surprised because I thought everyone had this recipe...but I guess not? So if you're one of the few that's never made should start now (even if it's summer). It's easy, delicious, adaptable (you can use or omit a variety of ingredients to your liking---you can easily make it vegetarian by just leaving out the meat), makes a lot, and you won't have to heat up your house to make it...:o)

1 can petite-cut diced tomatoes
1 can of water
1 can kidney beans (drain)
1 can black beans (drain)
1 can chili beans (don't drain)
1 can corn (drain)
1 pound hamburger (browned)
1 packet taco seasoning

Mix all the above together, simmer about 2 hours or in crockpot on low for 4-6 hours (or high for 2-4 hours). Serve with "taco stuff" sides like grated cheese, chopped onion, sour cream and taco chips.

*Note: I've substituted different types of beans and they all work great...just remember that you'll always want to use at least one can of the chili beans (or I've also used Nalley's chili) for the sauce it has. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Me!

It's Pete's and my 9th Anniversary today. So this is what I woke up to find waiting for me (actually Ellie dragged me out to the dining room saying "Mom, you have to come see this thing").
Pretty cool, huh? He must have got the idea from my mom, because she did the same thing with family photos (I had no idea he really paid that close of attention to my mom's decor:o))

This was us 9 years ago...we got married on the Oregon Coast on a beach in Yachats, Oregon. And the photos were all taken at Heceta Head Lighthouse. Loved that day!
Love my husband! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What We've Been Up To This Week...

Why is this my first post this week? Because I've been working on those crazy kitchen cabinet doors all week taking Ellie to swim cleaning up our backyard (this morning---it was looking a little too ghetto for me---Pete's working on about 3 different projects, but he's not one to pick up between, he just sorta leaves stuff and picks it up at the end...well, "the end" was not coming soon enough for me, thus I spent 3 hours this morning "picking up"!). Anyway...the cabinet doors are "almost" done (we should have them up sometime next week--YAY--I am so very excited about this, I can't even explain!!:o) And Ellie is done with swimming lessons for the summer. She took them for 4 weeks, and I think she has really gotten to be a lot better swimmer...especially in these last 2 weeks. Now we'll just have to keep her swimming for the rest of the summer (Nanny Carol...we might be visiting you a lot this next month!).

Here's some photos of Ellie's last day of lessons...they got to PLAY today instead of swim (I'm thinking "really? this is what I paid for?"...but I just kept my mouth shut, because she and her swimmates had a great time!)
My little bathing beauty! Nice pose, huh? She came up with this one all on her own;o)

This one makes me smile...look at that goofy look on her face!

A COOL water feature!

She's been doing a lot of coloring and puzzles while I've been working on the cabinets. She can now put this 100 piece puzzle together in about 15 minutes! She wanted me to show everyone!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Cute Hat and Another Treasure!

I bought Ellie this way cute new hat this week at Ross (I'm discovering I like that store more and more---it's one of my mom's favorite stores, but I've never cared much for it because the ones I've been to are always so chaotic and messy---but the one closest to us now is smaller and really clean and organized).

Well today, we were at McD's having lunch (as we were out running errands, and she convinced me she would "be good" the whole time if I would take her there:o)) and as we were sitting there I was thinking how cute she looked with her new hat on (I wish I could pull off hats, but I look so weird in them!!!) and so I took my camera out of my purse ('cause I always carry it with me!!:o)) and took her picture. I know, I know...a super lovely place to take a photo of my cutie girl, huh?! Oh well...doesn't she look adorable in her snazzy new hat?!

During our time out running errands I decided to stop by this new shop I saw this week, and even though it was one of the most eclectic, strange (and not an entirely "good" strange) little shops I've ever been to, I did SCORE on this find...
It's not the best photo...but it is an awesome 1940's vintage metal cooler!! It was marked at $40, but I dickered and got it for $30. It's a large cooler and in great shape. We'll use it for backyard parties (or in our vintage Airstream trailer that both Pete and I are currently thinking would be a fabulous thing to have--he's been looking on craigslist for a super deal--I'm thinking it's not gonna happen for awhile, but who knows? Find the right price and maybe! I would love to have something other than a tent to camp in! Not that we've gone camping as a family yet:o), but it could happen if I had an Airstream to sleep in instead of the bumpy ground) Ok...that was sorta random info...sorry! But the cooler's way COOL, huh?

Power Tools and a New Old Desk

Yesterday I spent quite a few hours (and the same the day before) sanding down our kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts with...get this, a power tool! Yes, an orbital sander. I've never used a power tool before, but it was actually kinda fun! So...our kitchen is finally on it's way to having doors and drawer fronts again (we've lived like this for almost a year about craziness! But hey, you can sure see where everything in my kitchen is:o)) I am so ready for this to be done. 

Here's a picture of me using arghhh, arghhhh, arghhhhh (my best impression of Tim "the Tool Man" Taylor) "power tool"!!!
I was over at our neighbor Rene's house borrowing the tool and his nice covered set-up (much better than doing it in a stuffy garage or out in the blazing sun). I had Ellie take the photo...

Ellie played in their backyard playhouse...taking a break for swimming lessons in between.

We also took a little afternoon break and went to a couple thrift stores, and LOOK at what I found. 
I've been looking for a little antique school desk for Ellie to use while I'm in my craft room...and I finally found one (it's not exactly what I wanted, but I was not going to pass it up for only $16!). Ellie's lovin' it too!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Craft Warehouse First Assignment-Layout #2

Here's my final project for this assignment. I created this on Friday night when I went scrapping to a local store with some friends. Thank you Erica, Bekkie and Steph for your help and input!  

This again is made with the new Authentique "Journey" collection. We were told we had to use at least 2 patterned papers, at least 2 paper embellishments (I used the bracket tag for my originally said Brave Boy, so I cut out a new middle of cream cardstock and used Authentique stickers to create my title...I also used the little round "dream" tag), to use Glimmer Mist (mine was blue--and it didn't match exactly, so I used it just lightly to spritz my butterfly) and finally to use the "Resist Chipboard"--love the pattern, but since I don't have a die-cut machine, I just cut it straight--and when I tried spraying it blue, it did not match the other papers, so I didn't use it that way)
*NOTE: My friend Anissa Hayes from AH Photography took the photos.

I really enjoyed making the butterfly out of the patterned paper below...

It's definitely a beautiful line of also comes in a pink line (Uncommon) and a yellow line (Blissful). I think Craft Warehouse is the only store carrying it so far.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Craft Warehouse First Assignment-Card

Here's a photo of the card I made (with the same Authentique papers & paper embellishments I used for the layout I posted earlier), plus I used a stamp (the heart with the little flowers) from Unity Stamp Company.  It is stamped with the VersaFine Onyx Black ink---LOVE this helps with the detail so much...I want it in other colors now!). I colored in the image with colored pencils and mineral spirits (Gamsol). The darker blue flower and the heart are "fussy cut" from the Authentique patterned paper.

 I decided to keep it pretty simple (not a lot of embellishments other than the faux pearl bling)...and I'm happy with how it turned out! 

Here's a close-up of how I colored the heart...

Tomorrow I'll post my last layout for you....

Monday, July 11, 2011

My First Craft Warehouse Assignment-Layout #1

I told you I would share the results of using the photos from the "disaster" photo session (see previous blog post) with Ellie. I used them on one of my layouts for the Craft Warehouse design team (my very first assignment). 
This was made with a new line of papers and embellishments from a brand new company called Authentique. This is not my typical style...but I really liked the colors and patterns, and really had fun making my projects, and trying something new!

I enjoyed making these "box" flowers. I got the idea from a Creating Keepsakes special edition called "Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks"-Fabulous Flowers. They took some time to figure out...but I really like the way the circular style compliments the circle photos on the layout.

I also had to make another layout and a card. I will share those with you later...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Daisies, Dominoes & Disaster!

A couple night's ago as I was working on dinner, Ellie comes into the kitchen and brings me this beautiful daisy (she and Pete know daisies are my favorites--Shasta, Gerber, wild, whatever...I just love daisies). But being that she has a habit of picking our neighbor's flowers without permission, that was the first thing that popped into my head...but she beat me to the punch and quickly said "it's ok mom, Rene (one of our neighbors) said it was ok". WHEW!

Yesterday it was HOT outside, so Ellie and I spent the majority of the day indoors. She asked me if I could get out the dominoes because she wanted to "build something". And this is what she did (after about 5 times of knocking them over and having to start all over again---we're talking about A LOT of dominoes too). I so remember doing this as a kid! Brings back sweet memories...
so much fun to knock them over!

In the evening after it cooled off a little, I told Ellie I wanted to do a little photo session with her because I needed some new photos for one of the layouts I want to do for my first Craft Warehouse Design Team assignment. Well, all I have to do is mention that I want to take photos, and she starts freaking out. This girl does NOT like to pose for photos (she does ok for 1 or 2, but then she is d-o-n-e)! Ugh...can you say DISASTER?! That's what this photo session was...and ended up with me being angry at her, and her in tears. I definitely did NOT get the photos I was dreaming of (hardly ever do), but as I down-loaded the photos this morning, I've come up with a "new plan" and will use the photos I have and just try to "embrace the craziness"! I'm going scrapping with a group of friends tomorrow, so hopefully I'll be able to post the resulting layout this weekend. Stay tuned...

Here's one of the photos...
and this pretty much says it all!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Fun Getaway

My little family snuck away for a week to go visit my family in Spokane, Washington. We had a great trip. The only bad part is the long drive takes us over 9 hours with stops along the way. And we brought Loretta, our black lab, we made more stops than usual. BUT the time there was awesome! Here's some photo highlights...
Ellie fishing on the banks of Mimi and Papa Dan's property
along the Little Spokane River.
Papa Dan got her a pretty pink fishing pole a couple years ago.

Pete fishing (he did catch a 3 inch rainbow trout!:o))
and Loretta thinking about jumping in for the 245th time 
(she absolutely loved being by the river!)

On Tuesday we drove down to Harrington (about an hour away) to visit my Dad and Stepmom (aka "Opa and Oma") and Ellie got to enjoy some time riding her favorite horse, Jazz (he's such a sweet horse and Ellie adores him!).

The old red barn...looking a little worse for wear.
I lived on the ranch in Harrington for years and can't tell you how many hours I spent playing in this barn (my dad would make awesome hay forts for me and my brother and our friends to play in).

Ellie and her cousin Bayler, who just turned a year old.
(And the coordinating outfits weren't even planned)

Bayler wearing his two hats!
He is my brother Dusty's and sis-in-law, Alyssa's little boy. 
Such a cutie!

Papa Dan, Ellie and Mimi having dinner
at Pryor's in Otis Orchards (they have the best fried fish ever--
and I don't even like fish!!).

Ellie, Nasty Larry (his name's really Larry, but we call him Nasty too),
and Papa Dan right before heading home.

Ellie and sweet old Annie. She's 16 and most likely won't
be around for our next visit, so Ellie had to give her hot dogs and a
good-bye hug and kiss--she's been such a sweet dog & great
hunting companion and frisbee-dog for Papa Dan over the years.
She will be greatly missed, but as Ellie said "I'm so glad she lived so I could see her one more time and tell her good-bye" (sniff-sniff)